Spaghetti Westerns are a genre of Western movies that were made in Italy. They resemble the typical American-made Westerns, and the better ones feature unusual music and heroes with unnaturally good fighting skills and an unlikely partner.
Like Quentin Tarantino, we are fans of quirky multi-national fusions. However, we are not in the movie business and so our Django Unchained-equivalent works are more likely to appear on small plates or glasses, rather than big screens.
We recently found a healthy dose of inspiration at Hopfields. If you have not made it there yet, Hopfields is a fantastic restaurant with a great beer selection and a gifted bartender – Carter – who makes some o f the best “17 [% ABV] and under” drinks in Austin.
On January 16th, Hopfields hosted a small tasting with Jake Parrott from Haus Alpenz. Haus Alpenz is an importer of unique international spirits and liqueurs, and has taken an important part in revitalizing America’s cocktail movement. We sampled a variety of their offerings, including Cocchi Americano Rosso (the first bottle in Texas!), Cocchi Barolo Chinato, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Bhyrrh, and a few others.
One of our favorites was Cardamaro Amaro, a wine-based bitter flavored with cardoon (not cardamom as the name might lead you to believe). Jake suggested the this cocktail to us (and even gave us the name), so after the tasting we hurried to the liquor store to gather our ingredients. After a few variations, we decided the following preparation was our favorite Spaghetti Western Cocktail, which mixes spicy American rye whiskey with the sweetly bitter Italian Cardamaro.
- 1 ounce Rye
- 1 ounce Cardamaro
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Stir the rye and Cardamaro together in a mixing glass with several ice cubes until chilled, about 30 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a healthy orange twist.